Fantastic Films And TV With Black Leads You Can Watch Right Now

by Tito W. James

With The Black live Matter movement continuing to create change nationwide, many media corporations have taken efforts to highlight Film and TV staring black actors and characters. I’ve decided to make my own list of personal favorites that I would recommend to fans of fantastic and genre fiction.

Black Panther

The first pick on the list needs no introduction. Black Panther changed cinematic history, broke box office records, and gave the world a taste of Afrofuturism. I guarantee that the generation who grows up watching this film will change the world for the better. Wakanda forever!

Available on Disney+.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a ground-breaking animated film delivering characters, editing, musical score, and an art direction unseen in feature animation. Spider-Verse has become the most talked about animated film for good reason. Its effect on the industry is already being felt — and not just in the upcoming sequel.

Available on Netflix.

Training Day

Denzel Washington delivers a riveting performance as a cop who’s feared and respected by officers and outlaws alike. Training Day delivers the kind of mind-bending crime thriller that’s rarely seen in films today.

Available on FuboTV.


Luther is a fantastic crime series that, tonally, could exist in the same universe as Nolan’s Batman trilogy. The series has five seasons — although I’d recommend skipping season 4. If you’re wondering why people are obsessed with Idris Elba look no further than Luther.

Available on Hulu, Amazon Prime and HBO Max.

Django Unchained

Despite one in four cowboys being black in American history, there are few notable examples of black protagonists in the Western genre. With Django Unchained, we’re given a black Western hero fighting to free his woman from the jaws of slavery. In equal parts a deconstruction and homage to the great Westerns of old, Django Unchained is a cinematic marvel.

Available on Netflix.

The Man With The Iron Fists

The Man With The Iron Fists was supposed to have a cross-over with Django, because nothing goes better with a Western than Kung-Fu. RZA’s fan-project exudes color and bombast from its production design to its sprawling cast. A wacky kung-fu movie with a little more than meets the eye, The Man With The Iron Fists is a blast.

Available for rent on Redbox, Amazon Prime, and YouTube.

Black Dynamite

A great example of Blaxploitation done right is none other than Black Dynamite. It’s an animation sensation that gives racists constipation. What more can I say, the man is Black.

Available on the Cartoon Network website.

Cannon Busters

LeSean Thomas fulfilled every nerd’s dream and created his own anime. Cannon Busters takes everything that was great about 90s anime and rolls it into one package. Gone are the clichéd moe tropes and instead we are treated to a rich and well thought out world with an endearing cast of characters. Netflix better give this a second season.

Available, of course, on Netflix.

Afro Samurai

This Emmy award winning anime is a classic. The warped perspectives and bonkers character designs make Afro Samurai stand out from every other anime. Samuel L. Jackson lends is voice to the title character and helped develop the series along with a musical score by RZA. If your a fan of Ninja Scroll, I’d recommend watching Afro Samurai: The Resurrection.

Available on Hulu.


HBO’s Spawn was a mature animated series way ahead of its time and is worth watching the time of contemporary audiences. Spawn follows Al Simmons (voiced by Keith David), an ex-CIA operative turned Hellspawn, as he he navigates a network of government conspiracies and cover-ups while trying to negate a secret war between heaven and hell.

Available on every HBO streaming service.


A mystery, thriller, and tragedy, Candyman elevates the horror slasher genre to a work of art. Even after all this time is still disturbs and moves its audience. The Candyman reboot has some big shoes to fill.

Available on Netflix.


After his directorial success with Get Out, Jordan Peele delivers another horror classic with US. Thought provoking, funny, and uncannily creepy, this film will make anyone look over their shoulder for a doppelganger.

Available on the HBO streaming services.


Dope stars Shameik Moore, the same guy who plays Miles in Into the Spider-Verse. But this time, he is playing a geek who unwittingly gets into a drug scheme while trying to impress a girl.

Available for rent on Redbox, Amazon Prime, and YouTube.

Sorry To Bother You

By far the strangest movie on the list, Sorry To Bother You defies traditional description. Incorporating elements of magical realism, social satire, and afro-retro-futurism, the film creates a genre of its own. As a fan of avant garde and experimental cinema, I’m glad to see that black movies aren’t being shoe-horned into one category.

Available on Hulu.

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